Dec 082014


Today was a busy day for an awards aficionado. The British Independent Film Awards were announced and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Boston Society of Film Critics name their best of 2014.

One film would feature more than the rest, and that is Boyhood.

British Independent Film Awards

Best British Independent Film


I am so pleased with this. Pride was my favourite film nominated.

Best Actor

Brendan Gleeson, Calvary

Gleeson is a deserved winner here, and he beats out two of the chief Oscar contenders in Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) and Spall (Mr Turner).

Best Director

Yann Demange, ’71

‘71 received a number of nominations however this was the only award the film took home. Demange’s direction beat out McDonagh’s (Calvary), Warchus (Pride) and Leigh (Mr Turner). Mortem Tyldum (The Imitation Game) wasn’t even nominated, so what does that say about the likelihood of his name appearing on the Oscar ballot?

Best Actress

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle

Gugu Mbatha-Raw is having a wonderful year. From this breakout role in Belle to what could be a career-defining role in Beyond the Lights. It is terrific to see this young actress receiving the accolades she deserves. Belle is an elegant and well-performed period drama, and one of the most successful indie dramas in the U.S and Australia in 2014.

Best Achievement in Production

The Goob

I have never heard of this film, so I have no comment here.

Best Screenplay

Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan, Frank

I wasn’t a big fan of Frank, but its quirkiness was very popular in the UK.

The Douglas Hickox Award for Best Debut Director

Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard – 20,000 Days On Earth

So well deserved. This is a fantastic documentary. Forsyth and Pollard are visual artists as well as filmmakers, and they certainly have given this unconventional biopic a unique and creative spin.

Best Supporting Actress

Imelda Staunton, Pride

This was never in doubt, surely. Staunton is always good.

Best Supporting Actor

Andrew Scott, Pride

Most will know Scott from Sherlock, but he shines amongst a uniformly outstanding cast in Pride.

Most Promising Newcomer

Sameena Jabeen Ahmed, Catch Me Daddy

Best Technical Achievement

Stephen Rennicks, Music, Frank

Dick Pope’s cinematography in Mr Turner has been earning him a lot of attention so I expected him to win this award. But this is Frank’s second award.

Best Documentary

Next Goal Wins

In my opinion this award should have gone to The Possibilities Are Endless, my favourite documentary of the year. I couldn’t get into Next Goal Wins. The story is incredible, but the filmmaking pretty conventional.

Best International Independent Film


The Raindance Award


Best British Short

The Kármán Line

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Best Film

Runner Up: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Another win for Boyhood. It is near-unanimous, except for the National Board of Review.

Best Director

Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Runner Up: Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Mirrors Best Film winners. LA clearly had Grand Budapest at #2.

Best Actor

Tom Hardy, Locke
Runner Up: Michael Keaton, Birdman

A surprise, for sure. Is it just me or does anyone else think Hardy was better in The Drop. How could you go past Keaton here?

Best Actress

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Runner Up: Julianne Moore, Still Alice

I’m not sure Arquette should be classified as a lead in Boyhood so I am counting this as a win for Moore.

Best Supporting Actor

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Runner-up: Edward Norton, Birdman

It looks like we are going to see these guys a lot. Boston (below) voted for them too.
This is sad news for Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher). If I had to vote for one or the other, I’d be with Norton. Is Simmons a Supporting Actor in Whiplash? It is debatable isn’t it?

Best Supporting Actress

Agata Kulesza, Ida
Runner-up: Rene Russo, Nightcrawler

Now, here is an award I can get behind. Boston awarded Emma Stone, which is fine, but I am actually glad to not see Patricia Arquette again. Rene Russo gives one of her finest performances in Nightcrawler and Kulesza is captivating in the wonderful Ida.

Best Screenplay

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Runner Up: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, Birdman

These two look likely to be battling it out for the Oscar (Original Screenplay), and certainly amongst the best scripts of 2014.

Best Documentary

Runner Up: Life Itself


Best Cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Runner Up: Dick Pope, Mr Turner

No issues here. Birdman is an incredible achievement.

Best Editing

Sandra Adair, Boyhood
Runner-up: Barney Pilling, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Great to see the technical proficiency behind Anderson’s complex multi-timeline story recognised.

Best Production Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Runner-up: Snowpiercer

Wracking my brain for two better candidates than these. No.

Best Music Score

(TIE) Jonny Greenwood, Inherent Vice and Mica Levi, Under the Skin

Fantastic selections here. Loved Levi’s score for Under the Skin. It was perfect. Yet to see Inherent Vice, but Greenwood and PTA don’t misfire.

Best Foreign Language Film

Runner Up: Winter Sleep

Two of the top foreign language films I have seen in 2014. The two best in my opinion? Not quite.

Best Animation

The Tale of Princess Kaguya
Runner-up: The LEGO Movie

Wow, the same as Boston (below). I should see The Tale of Princess Kaguya Again. A beautiful film, but I fell asleep during it because of festival fatigue.

New Generation Award

Ava DuVernay, Selma

I am very much looking forward to Selma, and I must catch up with Ava DuVernay’s previous films.

Boston Society of Film Critics

Boston loved Boyhood, Birdman and Mr Turner. That is clear. They feature in just about every category, either as a winner or runner up.

Perhaps the biggest surprise here (a pleasant one) is Inherent Vice’s win for Use of Music. Greenwood also won Best Score (in a tie) in LA. Oh and Clint Eastwood runner up for Best Director. I don’t think anyone saw that coming.

Supporting Actress for both Boston and LA have brought up four names not Patricia Arquette. This interesting. A lot of discussion recently about how thin that category is. Perhaps it isn’t.

Dick Pope has finished runner-up to Lubezki in both LA and Boston, so lets assume they both will get Oscar nominations. More interesting than Citizenfour again winning Best Documentary, is that Jodorowsky’s Dune was the runner up this time.

Best Picture

Runner Up: Birdman

Best Actor

Michael Keaton, Birdman
Runner Up: Timothy Spall, Mr Turner

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard, The Immigrant and Two Days, One Night
Runner Up: Hillary Swank, The Homesman

Best Supporting Actor

J. K. Simmons, Whiplash
Runner Up: Edward Norton, Birdman

Best Supporting Actress

Emma Stone, Birdman
Runner Up: Laura Dern, Wild

Best Director

Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Runner Up: Clint Eastwood, American Sniper

Best Screenplay

(tie) Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, Birdman & Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Runner Up: Mike Leigh, Mr Turner

Best Cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman
Runner Up: Dick Pope, Mr Turner

Best Documentary

Runner Up: Jodorowsky’s Dune

Best Foreign-Language Film (awarded in memory of Jay Carr)

Two Days, One Night
Runner Up: Ida

Best Animated Film

The Tale of The Princess Kaguya

Best Film Editing (awarded in memory of Karen Schmeer)

Sandra Adair, Boyhood
Runner Up: Joel Cox, Gary Roach, American Sniper

Best New Filmmaker (awarded in memory of David Brudnoy)

Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Runner Up: Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child

Best Ensemble Cast

Runner Up: Birdman

Best Use of Music in a Film

Inherent Vice
Runner Up: Whiplash

A fourth organisation also unveiled their awards today, The New York Film Critics Online. They also awarded Boyhood Best Film. For the full list of their winners head over to Hitfix.

By Andrew Buckle

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